Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McNamara Chooses a Powerful Line-Up; RUGBY LEAGUE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McNamara Chooses a Powerful Line-Up; RUGBY LEAGUE

Article excerpt

ENGLAND aim to "blow the cobwebs away" when they warm up for the Four Nations Series with a match against New Zealand Maori at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium today. The tourists flew out of Manchester a week ago and, after a couple of days to acclimatise and shake off the effects of jet lag with some rest and relaxation, head coach Steve McNamara (pictured above) has stepped up the preparations over the last two days.

"We're just where we need to be," he said. "Our preparations have been calculated to get us to where we are just now and we go into the game in good spirits and good form.

"It has been a tough season for some of the players. It was a long trip and we needed to get some things in place before we started to practise seriously for this game so preparations have been a slow, gradual build-up."

McNamara has named a virtual full-strength side, with only St Helens prop James Graham rested and Wigan front rower Stuart Fielden given more time to settle in after delaying his departure to be present for the birth of his first child. …

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